Check out the bottom of my page for other blogs written by Texas Tech students from my program during this last semester. It's always good to get a different perspective on what happened.
****I'm having a hard time getting pictures uploaded, so for now it will just be text stories. Sorry, but I'll try to get pics up as soon as I can. ****

June 01, 2011

Enter the Newground

I'm in Belluno at this point and yesterday was a rest day for the Giro. I tried to find out where those stinking pros were hiding, to no avail. These guys really are elusive. Maybe they stayed in Belluno, but maybe they were in another town all together. I'll never know.

The Belluno stage is a time trial. An uphill time trial to be exact. I stayed long enough to cheer on the first two Americans to go off, but I had a lot of riding to do, so I decided to bounce after a little while. As I was heading back to the hotel to get my things though, guess what I saw? Those elusive pro cyclists.

I found where they were all set up and got to see Fumiyuki Beppu (the only Japanese rider in the Giro) from Radioshack warming up, as well as David Millar, the Brit from Garmin-Cervelo. I wasn't able to get any autographs though, because as badly as I want one, I still realize that it would be disruptive to their "zone" and I would appreciate it if I was in their position and someone left me alone for a minute of two.

After gawking a bit at all the team buses and the work going on in the warm up area, I headed to the hotel and got my things to hit the road. This was the day I was supposed to head towards Stelvio, but I was tired of getting rained on in the mountains so I headed south for Verona instead. It was a really fun mostly downhill ride, which is comforting after mountains for 3-4 days.

I was finally out of the mountains and I got to an area a little northeast of Vicenza, where I decided to camp for the night. It was perfect because there were a couple of apartment-looking buildings that were under construction but mostly complete. They were dark and kind of off the road, so I figured it would be an excellent place to sleep.

I got situated in one of the buildings but had to prepare my sleeping bag right outside the door because there was dust all over the floor in the buildings. After I got everything hidden away inside, I headed over to the gas station across the street to see if I could find a hose to take a shower. No such luck, but there was a water spigot in the middle of the station under all the lights. Time to get creative.

Let's put it this way: if you fill up a water bottle 4 times, you can take a ghetto shower. Fill it up once for your head, twice for your arms and upper body, and once for your legs. I was very interesting and I definitely was laughing at myslef the whole time.

I would fill up the water bottle and run behind the station to take my shower in short burts, because I'm sure if any of the Italians saw this crazy American showering in the middle of a gas station in the middle of the night they would worry a little bit. That and I would have a hard time trying to explain myself without knowing the language.

I got done with that experience all the smarter as to how to conserve water and headed back to the apartments to go to sleep. I figured if I woke up early enough I would be able to make it out before the workers started up in the morning. Apparently the workers in Italy believe in getting started with work much earlier than those in Spain.

I woke up at about 7:30 and they were already working on the apartment next to mine. Luckily they started there because it would have been interesting for them (and me) to walk in on some guy sleeping in their workplace.

I slowly got ready and as I was about to leave, the guys working on the other building finally noticed me. It was really awkward finishing packing while having a group of construction workers eye you cautiously, then stare you down as you ride off. I laughed at that too, because they didn't try to do anything. They just sat there and watched me as I left. I love Italy.


  1. That sounds like quite an adventure!! You will have a whole new appreciation for showers after that!

  2. Josh, finally got a chance to catch up with your blog. At least you had a chance to fill up the bottle. Believe me, when I used to get lost in the Chihuahuan desert for 3 or 4 days on my mountain bike, I learned how to take a full-body shower with ONE 24-oz bottle, including shampoo! Life's great, isn't it? You will have these memories forever. Take it from an old man who started to travel at age 18 and who hasn't stopped. Just got back from Philly where I was in charge of UCI Doping Control and am heading in less than 48 hrs to Costa Rica to chief a UCI mtn. bike race.

    Have fun, Josh. Safe travels! Jürgen

  3. Oh, and DJ Kentaro!

  4. I'm laughing at this entire post...great story!

  5. Dj Kentaro would be correct, point to Dianne. I didn't think anybody would be able to get that one.

  6. Jurgen- I don't see how you could have done that with just one bottle. I was having a hard enough time even with filling it up. It was interesting nonetheless.

    I will definitely have these memories forever, and what memories they will be.

  7. I guess its a good thing you don't have a lot of hair, it might have taken 5 bottles!

  8. A very valid point, and definitely made me laugh.